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How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Rhode Island

Curious about pursuing a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)? If you possess a genuine passion for providing care to individuals of all ages, the healthcare industry offers a promising path for you.

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant presents an exciting career opportunity with a positive employment outlook for the foreseeable future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CNA employment is projected to grow by 4% in the year 2032. Aspiring CNAs can capitalize on the numerous job openings expected in the coming years.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What is a CNA?

  • How Much Does a CNA Make in Rhode Island

  • How to Become a CNA in Rhode Island

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What is a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides health care services to facility residents and patients. CNA’s are also referred to as "nursing assistants", “nursing aides", "certified nurse aides", or "orderlies."

What Does a CNA Do?

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) offer fundamental healthcare services to clients, with their core duties encompassing:

  • Aiding patients in essential activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and other personal care tasks.

  • Applying bandages under the guidance of nurses or physicians.

  • Effectively communicating patient concerns to the overseeing nurse or physician.

  • Thoroughly documenting all pertinent events and patient activities for accurate record-keeping.

  • Safely transitioning patients between the bed and wheelchair, and vice versa, ensuring comfort and stability.

  • Conducting the measurement and recording of vital signs to monitor and assess the overall health status of patients.

  • In performing these tasks, CNAs play a critical role in supporting the holistic well-being of individuals under their care, contributing to a compassionate and efficient healthcare environment.

How to Become a CNA in Rhode Island

Step #1: Enroll in an Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program

To begin your journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), the initial step involves enrolling in a reputable career school, college, or program offering a Certificate Program in Nursing Aide. It is crucial to ensure that the chosen institution is qualified and recognized. For instance, The Healthcare Training Institute is approved by The Department of Health and Senior Services of Rhode Island. Admission to the program requires presenting either a high school diploma or GED certification.

Step #2: Complete a Comprehensive Patient Care Course

Upon enrollment, you will undergo a basic patient care course designed to equip you with essential nursing assistant knowledge and skills required for caring for residents in long-term care facilities. This curriculum adheres to Federal Regulations, providing a total of 16 hours of training in communication, interpersonal skills, infection control, promoting residents’ independence, and respecting residents’ rights. Safety and emergency procedures, including the Heimlich Maneuver, are covered before any direct contact with a resident.

Successful Certified Nursing Assistants possess a natural inclination to help others, coupled with highly developed communication and patient care skills. Proficiency in assisting with daily living activities and creating a safe and comfortable environment for residents distinguishes excellent CNAs. Understanding patients’ needs, including allergies, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences, is paramount.

Step #3: Undertake a Clinical Externship in a Licensed Long-Term Care Facility

While progressing through the patient care curriculum, you will concurrently begin a clinical externship in a real-world setting. This hands-on experience involves interacting with actual patients and medical professionals in a licensed long-term care facility in Rhode Island. The clinical externship comprises 40 hours of instruction, emphasizing the holistic care of residents' biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, and intellectual functions.

Step #4: Take and Pass the State Exam

Upon successful completion of the Rhode Island Department of Healthcare & Senior Services-approved 90-hour course, you become eligible to take the Rhode Island State Department of Health and Senior Services Nurse Aide examination. This exam, consisting of 55 to 70 multiple-choice questions, evaluates your mastery of the knowledge and hands-on skills required for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification.

Congratulations! Upon passing the state exam, you officially become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), equipped to make valuable contributions to the healthcare community.

CNA Employment Opportunities in Rhode Island

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 4 percent from 2023 to 2032. About 209,400 openings for nursing assistants and orderlies are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Where Can CNAs in Rhode Island Find Work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a significant portion of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are engaged in employment within nursing homes and residential care facilities. Approximately 55% of these institutions enlist the services of nursing aides to deliver patient care.

CNAs can also find work opportunities at nursing agencies, where their agency will act as a middleman to connect them to a temporary, per-diem, or even permanent role at a skilled nursing facility.

Moreover, CNAs have diverse employment opportunities, extending to local, private, and state hospitals, as well as home health care companies. Their presence is pervasive across various healthcare sectors, including long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and hospices.

Certified Nursing Assistants play a crucial role in providing essential support in a wide range of healthcare settings.

How Much Do CNAs Make in Rhode Island? CNA Salary in Rhode Island

According to ZipRecruiter, Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) make an average of $41,424 per year, with salaries ranging from $22,554 per year to $61,146 per year. Salaries and hourly rates vary depending on work experience, location, and specialty.


If you're looking for high-paying, flexible CNA jobs in Rhode Island, apply now at and join hundreds of other nurses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.


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